It is tempting to ignore the reality that there are two sentient beings in this dyad, and that both have psyches that make them capable of unskillful actions. Teachers, in fact, are vulnerable to the ways in which students project onto them both salvific & destructive capacities. And when a student idealizes the teacher to the point where he or she can't see the guru as human, it becomes nearly impossible for that student to take into account both the teacher's gifts and vulnerability.
A teacher who has the maturity to be seen as a whole being - in addition to having a kind heart and a liberated mind - may invite the student to curb the idealizations and work instead toward cultivating the wisdom and agency they have been ascribing exclusively to the teacher.
Teachers & students alike pay a price when this mutuality does not develop."
Pilar Jennings PhD "Looking into the eyes of a master. A relational psychotherapist explores how we can see our teachers as people, both gifted and flawed." Tricycle Spring 2004